Looking back and looking forward…

December 13, 2020 – Today, United Way British Columbia turns 70 and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate 70 years of local giving and impact in our community. First by looking back and then a glimpse into the future.

Looking back

At our 60th anniversary, the United Way story was created on a plaque that is displayed on our reception desk at the office:

The United Way of Central Okanagan began on December 13, 1950. From its beginning as a small Community Chest in 1950, our United Way has evolved into a network of caring partnerships, groups and individuals.

The first fundraising drive, known as the Red Feather and Community Chest campaign, was held on October 15, 1951. Campaigns are the cornerstone of the United Way, which through the possibilities of these continuous commitments provide encouragement and support. This is the unique United Way – involving the entire community for the benefit of the entire community. 


Another milestone has been reached in the 60th year celebration…in looking ahead, we recognize that every year holds another promise…to collectively achieve greater potential as a team, with those who choose to contribute. 



The history of United Way from 1950 to 2009 created in 2010 to celebrate 60 years.


Looking forward

Today, a lot has changed in terms of population, economic development and progress in our communities. The United Way’s work and purpose remains the same: To create opportunities for a better life for everyone. The times have changed but the social issues are still prevalent and pervasive. Hunger, homelessness, mental health, poverty and charity’s capacity issues remain constant.

We are certainly not done and with the pandemic, nearly everything has amplified as local charities struggle to adapt to COVID-19 protocols and health orders to ensure their service delivery can remain consistent and continue to serve our most vulnerable.

Your Impact

Today, we support 92 local charities that impact over 75,000 lives through $2.18M in investments. Our impact is incredibly widespread and helps children, youth, families, individuals and seniors. 

Of course, this can’t be done without the incredible support of donors, local workplace campaigns, corporate donations, community partners and sponsorships, media partners and an army of volunteers.

As we celebrate our 70th anniversary, we reflect on 70 incredible years of impact and investments in our community and all because of your help. Thank you for showing your local love!

Our Future

As we embark on new and existing community initiatives such as the Central Okanagan Community Wellness and Poverty Strategy, 100 More Homes Penticton or Child Safety Initiative, we look forward to working together in future years to make an even bigger impact and move the needle on these social issues that drive our work.

Together, we can make local issues #UNIGNORABLE and make a difference in the lives of so many marginalized and vulnerable people. Our neighbours, our family, our friends and our colleagues depend on us (along with over 100 charities). Our community.

This year, we featured 5 stories from clients up and down the valley. They share their stories and how they’ve moved from surviving to thriving because of your help. Learn more about the impact of your donations by hearing from clients: Ashley, Joi and Wylie, Mary, Andrew and Les. Local giving, local results.

Now, more than ever, we need your help. Please give generously.